Drop in bowel cancer screening rates

Bowel cancer screening rates fell last year as 643,000 Australians threw away the free FOBT kit mailed to them, latest figures show.

Participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Monitoring fell from 35% to 33.5% of the 964,000 Australians who were invited to screen for the disease in 2012/13, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.

Of the 320,000 Australians aged 50, 55 or 65 who returned a completed screening kit, about 23,500 (7.5%) had a positive